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Welcome, new friends! to the Official Blog Launch!

Hello, good people of the internets! Welcome to the launch of my very first blog! Thanks for being here!

Hey hey, it me 😉

Let me start off by asking you a question…a little pop quiz of sorts (don’t worry, this isn’t being graded 😉).

If you could pick only one hobby from the list below that you could do for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pick wisely!

  1. Hiking/camping/outdoor adventuring
  2. Traveling
  3. Photography
  4. Sports with balls (Soccer, basketball, baseball, etc.)
  5. Reading
  6. Netflix/Hulu/TV/Chillaxing
  7. Other: ______

If you answered 1, 2, or 3, then you’re in luck, my friends! I’m beginning this blog as a means to document my love and personal experiences for outdoor adventures, traveling, and photography. I plan on sharing with you some favorite hikes and trails of mine, bucket list destinations both locally and abroad, tips and tricks for anything from camping prep to photography outside to itinerary planning, and more! If you feel like there is a topic you’d like to see covered in the future, leave me a comment and let me know!

If you answered 4, 5, or 6, while I love those things too, you may have to look elsewhere if you want some super interesting insight on those topics. Regardless, I hope you’ll stick around anyway. Maybe you’ll find something useful in my upcoming posts!

If you answered “other,” tell me about it in the comments below! Even if it’s not currently something I intend to write about (topics 1-3 are what you will find here), maybe it will be relevant to something I can write about in the future. I love all feedback!

So now, to tell you a bit about myself. You can read the basic stuff in my “about” tab on my website. Growing up, I definitely spent more than my fair share outside; growing up in Hawaii, I was pretty much always at the beach. I never quite caught on to surfing, but I have played soccer since I was five years old, so that has kept me otherwise occupied.

Good times in Ka'anapali on Maui, circa 2005

When I moved to the mainland for college, the transition from island life to city life hit me hard. I went from a small town on Maui where everyone knows everyone, to San Francisco, where you’re simply a walking statistic, one face amongst a city of thousands. I felt so small and it was so foreign to me. I ended up transferring to a college outside of the Olympia area of Washington...it had a small town feel where the people were all so friendly and it reminded me of home.

It took me living in Washington for almost a decade before the nature bug really bit me. I had gone on hikes and camping trips with friends previously, but it was nothing more than something to do from time to time, maybe once a year if I was lucky.

Then came a time where things took a turn in my life, and I really began struggling with where I was at. Physically, mentally, emotionally...I was a hot mess. It took me years after graduating with my Master's degree to actually find a job in my field and I was left with so much student loan debt; I was in the beginnings of an extremely toxic on and off relationship; and I was at my heaviest weight at that point in time as well. I was really unhappy and I just couldn't figure out what needed to change.

Waihe'e Ridge, Maui

One day, I don’t even really remember how it happened, but I feel like I just stumbled into hiking as a therapy. Hiking is huge in the Pacific Northwest, and it intrigued me that all it took was a little bit of walking and you could end up at an insane mountain vista, a roaring, explosive waterfall, or an isolated fire lookout with epic views of Mount Rainier or Mount Baker. Social media posts and hearing friends talk about hiking inspired me to get out and give it a try on my own. I even started solo hiking, which for me was really empowering and freeing.

Diablo Lake, Washington

The minute I stepped onto a trail, I forgot about everything stressing me out and became very aware and very “in the moment,” you could say. I began hiking with more and more frequency, got friends out on the trails with me, and I really began to find my happiness again. Hiking made me feel strong again, mentally and physically. It was like a cleanse for my mind and my soul.

Since then it has been a long road of ups and downs with life constantly changing, but the one thing that I can always count on is finding peace, solitude, and comfort in the mountains. For those of you still reading this, thanks for sticking with me. My posts going forward aren’t always going to be this personal, but I thought it was important to share who I am and what led me to this place in my life, as well as what sparked my love and passion for the outdoors.

Top row, left to right: Mount Rainier National Park, WA, Mount Rainier National Park, WA, and Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada. 2nd row, L - R: Moraine Lake, AB, CAN; Horseshoe Bend, AZ; and Mount Baker, WA. Bottom Left: Copper Creek Hut snowshoe. Mid-right: Olympic National Park, WA. Bottom right: Burney Falls, CA.

I hope you related to and enjoyed this post as well as some of the photography in my gallery, and I’m excited to go on this journey with all of you. Being outside is something that has brought me great happiness, and I hope to be able to share and spread that happiness. If I can spark inspiration in even just one person to explore the outdoors and take a leap of faith like I did, then maybe this journey can take on a greater purpose for everyone. Take care and ALOHA!

Find me on Instagram at @shy_adventures, and my 500px and Flickr accounts, linked on my website!

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